The title of this movie, Hobo with a Shotgun tells you everything you need to know about it. One badass hobo will get ahold of a shotgun and start blasting his way through a corrupt city. At first glance, it seems like your usual action movie but beneath the surface is an ugly truth about our society. The first thing you’re going to notice is the color saturation cranked up to the max. This gives the whole movie a retro seventies vibe and I guess now’s as good time as any to talk about he this movie actually came to be.
Before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez released their Grindhouse package containing Planet Terror and Death Proof, they held a special contest. You could submit a short movie in a form of a trailer and that movie could end up in the main feature. One of the movies that won that contest is also Machete along with the movie we’re going to be talking about today. So, Hobo With a Shotgun is definitely a Grindhouse movie. But it’s also an exploitation movie and a bloody tribute to all those low-budget seventies movies featuring vigilantes.
With just a $3 million budget, I think they did wonders with this movie. It looks really cool and the practical effects are, well, very effective. The movie opens with one hell of decapitation and things just get worse and worse as the story progresses. This is truly a wild and grotesque ride that’s quite gritty and filthy too. It reminded me of an eighties classic Street Trash although I really don’t know how to classify that movie.
In the first act, we will get to know our lead characters and just how corrupt our society has become. I also couldn’t help noticing that Bum Fights reference and if you don’t know what that is, the better. We live in a fucked up society and have been since the dawn of time. For the most part we simply don’t want to see the gritty and harrowing reality.
An unknown homeless man just arrived in a new city. But this city seems to resemble every other city he’s been in. It’s corrupt, ruthless, and stinks. Our nameless hero sits at the side of the road with a sign that says “I am tired, need $ for lawn mower”. However. he soon ditches the sign and starts to roam the streets of this bleak city. He stumbles upon a gang member harassing a young woman and tries to make a citizen’s arrest. What follows next is a story full of violence, justice, and death.
As you could guess Rutger Hauer was phenomenal here, reviving his career in one fell swoop. And while most people remember him from Blade Runner or Blind Fury to me, he will always be Harley Stone from Spit Second. Here, he will be playing the eponymous Hobo sporting a stylish Remington 870 shotgun. I would also like to mention cute Molly Dunsworth playing the hooker Abby.
It’s interesting to see another vigilante with a prostitute as a companion, much like in the movie Defendor that came out in 2009. With a lot of gory and over-the-top violence, this movie has that shock effect, but if you look deeper you will also find a pretty solid plot. Visually, it’s very similar to graphic novel adaptations like 300 and Sin City. However, I would also like to mention two Australian movies Wyrmwood and Undead.
Director: Jason Eisener
Writer: John Davies
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Jeremy Akerman, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith
Fun Facts: Slick and Ivan drive a Bricklin, a Canadian made car from the mid 70s.